2011 Dodgers Player Profile: Hector Gimenez, Without Options But Not Without Hope

Hector Gimenez
Birthdate - 09/28/1982
Height / Weight - 5'10 /225
Bats / Throws - B/R
Signed By Houston, 1999 out of Yaracuy, Venezuela

 

Eric had this to say about how Hector is on the 40 man roster.

Gimenez is a 28-year old catcher who the Dodgers signed to a minor-league contract last week. He played two games for the 2006 Astros, going hitless in two at-bats. Gimenez missed all of the 2007 season in Houston after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He spent the last two seasons in the Pirates organization, hitting .305/.384/.533 in Double A last season. He was an Eastern League All-Star in 2010. Gimenez is currently hitting .253/.330/.442 with Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Gimenez also happens to be out of options, which makes this move all the more puzzling. He used options in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and now can't be sent down to the minors without first clearing waivers.

Unless I totally misunderstand the situation Hector has zero chance of staying with the major league team but he might be better then anyone not named Barajas at this point.

The scouting report on Hector from Pirates Prospects

Once a top prospect in the Houston Astros farm system, Gimenez suffered a shoulder injury in 2007 that kept him out the entire season.  Gimenez became a minor league free agent the following off-season, and signed with Tampa Bay, although he struggled in his first year back in 2008.  After signing with the Pirates for the 2009 season, Gimenez regained his success at the AA level, with a .286 average and a .795 OPS in 133 at-bats, then had some success at AAA.  Gimenez caught 23 games between AA and AAA, playing first and third base the other 41 games.  He is behind Erik Kratz on the catcher depth charts at AAA, and isn’t likely to be anything more than minor league depth, although at 27 years of age he’s good depth to have, and might be a Ryan Doumit and Jason Jaramillo injury combo away from the majors.

The above was written before Hectors standout 2010 AA season. He has a reputation as a defensive minded catcher, who threw out 34% of the base runners in AA last year. He also posted a .917 OPS which was good for 12th in the league. However if you look at players who had more then 300 plate appearances, that .917 is good for 4th in the league. Sure he's 27, but catchers are a late starting bunch, and surgery is what put him behind the eight ball. Many catchers are late bloomers, such as our own Paul LoDuca. Heck, AJ Ellis is already 30.

Transactions

per Baseball Reference

  • July 2, 1999: Signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent.
  • October 29, 2007: Granted Free Agency.
  • November 16, 2007: Signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
  • November 3, 2008: Granted Free Agency.
  • January 23, 2009: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • November 9, 2009: Granted Free Agency.
  • November 21, 2009: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • February 5, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • November 6, 2010: Granted Free Agency.
  • November 11, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Contract Status

I asked Eric Stephen what happens when Gimenez does not make the team out of spring training:

First step is to designated him for assignment, which immediately removes him from the 40-man. The Dodgers then have 10 days to trade or release Gimenez, but they have to put him on waivers (I believe by the 8th day). If somebody claims him, the new team has to put him on the 25-man roster, too. He is still out of options and would have to go through the same process again with the new team should they want to send him down.

If Gimenez clears waivers, then the Dodgers can ask him to accept a minor league assignment. He was outrighted in 2007 by Houston, so he can't be outrighted again. Gimenez can either accept the assignment, or decline it and become a free agent.

Stats

Year Level Age AB Hits
HR BA OBP SLG
CS%
2008 A-AA 25 309 59 6 .211 .270 .332 31%
2009 AA-AAA 26 301 83 8 .276 .317 .422 .29%
2010 AA 27 392 103 16 .305 .384 .533 34%

2011 Outlook

Dim, but he must have signed with the Dodgers for a reason. If somehow he remains in the system I think he's a better choice then AJ Ellis as a future backup given their ages, power, and defensive skills.  AJ is going to be 30 this spring, and Hector hit 16 home runs in one season in the minors compared to 17 for all of AJ's career. Plus Hector has played 1st and 3rd given him just a tad more versatility.

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